First smart Brussels summit draws more than 1,000


Thirty start-ups and more than 1,000 people gathered in Tour&Taxis to discuss the future of the capital as a smart city

Innovative technologies

More than 1,000 people attended the first edition of the Brussels Smart City Event, which was organised at the Tour&Taxis site on Tuesday.

The summit was hosted by Bianca Debaets, secretary of state for digitalisation in the Brussels-Capital Region. Thirty start-ups demonstrated innovative technologies, including mobility apps that improve traffic flow and a smart bicycle bell that functions as a GPS tracker.

A smart city is an urban development vision that integrates multiple information and communication technologies in a secure fashion to manage city assets, including transportation networks, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement and other services.

Debaets aims to transform the Brussels Smart City concept into an appealing brand. “It can definitely help us improve the image of our capital,” she said. “Particularly because the recent terror attacks have done quite the opposite.”

At the event, Debaets announced the first Brussels Smart City Ambassador. Pieter Ballon is a professor at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and an authority in the field of smart urban development. He is also director of iMinds Living Labs, an experimental garden for digital innovation.

“I want to use my experience and my international network to transform Brussels into a smart city,” said Ballon, “a smart city where intelligent use of new technologies will yield better life quality for the people of Brussels.”

Photo: State secretary Bianca Debaets appoints professor Pieter Ballon as Brussels' Smart City ambassador